Category Archives: US Constitution

Understanding Jacobson v. Massachusetts – Health Freedom Defense Fund

Understanding Jacobson v. Massachusetts

Extremely well written and well documented with references. Thank you!! HFDF. mrossol

November 14, 2021 / Freedom, Legal Interpretation

By HFDF General Counsel George Wentz, Davillier Law Group and Leslie Manookian, President of HFDF

The seminal case on mandatory vaccinations is Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905). In Jacobson, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Reverend Jacobson of Cambridge under a Massachusetts statute requiring “inhabitants of a city or town to be vaccinated only when, in the opinion of the Board of Health, that was necessary for the public health or the public safety”. 197 U.S. at 27.[i] The Court stated that:

According to settled principles, the police power of a State must be held to embrace, at least, such reasonable regulations established directly by legislative enactment as will protect the public health and the public safety. It is equally true that the State may invest local bodies called into existence for purposes of local administration with authority in some appropriate way to safeguard the public health and the public safety. The mode or manner in which those results are to be accomplished is within the discretion of the State, subject, of course, so far as Federal power is concerned, only to the condition that no rule prescribed by a State, nor any regulation adopted by a local governmental agency acting under the sanction of state legislation, shall contravene the Constitution of the United States or infringe any right granted or secured by that instrument. A local enactment or regulation, even if based on the acknowledged police powers of a State, must always yield in case of conflict with the exercise by the General Government of any power it possesses under the Constitution, or with any right which that instrument gives or secures. 197 U.S. at 25 (citations omitted).

Reverend Jacobson argued that “his liberty is invaded when the State subjects him to fine or imprisonment for neglecting or refusing to submit to vaccination; that a compulsory vaccination law is unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive, and, therefore, hostile to the inherent right of every freeman to care for his own body and health in such way as to him seems best, and that the execution of such a law against one who objects to vaccination, no matter for what reason, is nothing short of an assault upon his person.” The Court rejected this argument based upon inherent individual liberty, stating that:

[T]he liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good. On any other basis, organized society could not exist with safety to its members. Society based on the rule that each one is a law unto himself would soon be confronted with disorder and anarchy. Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.

Jacobson thus framed the question on the basis of two fundamental and thorny issues in U.S. Constitutional law: Federalism (where do we draw the line between the power of a state and the power of the federal government) and the Social Compact (where do we draw the line between the rights of the individual and the rights of the community). The Court ruled that the Massachusetts statute was not contrary to any federal authority, and that Jacobson’s rights had to yield to the rights of the community. But it did so on the facts of the case before it.

  • The Court noted that the legislature had allowed local boards of health to determine whether a vaccine was required. The edict was not state-wide, but was instituted at the local level based on facts as determined by members of the board of health living in the local community.
  • The case involved the extremely deadly disease of smallpox, a disease with a fatality rate of 30-40%. The Court reasoned that “in every well-ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.” 197 U.S. at 30 (emphasis added).
  • Despite the acknowledged threat of smallpox, however, the Court specifically reserved the right to intervene on the side of individual rights in a future case if the facts warranted it.   

Smallpox being prevalent and increasing at Cambridge, the court would usurp the functions of another branch of government if it adjudged, as a matter of law, that the mode adopted under the sanction of the State, to protect the people at large was arbitrary and not justified by the necessities of the case. We say necessities of the case because it might be that an acknowledged power of a local community to protect itself against an epidemic threatening the safety of all, might be exercised in particular circumstances and in reference to particular persons in such an arbitrary, unreasonable manner, or might go so far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public, as to authorize or compel the courts to interfere for the protection of such persons. 197 U.S. at 28 (emphasis added).

  • The Court went on to acknowledge that “[t]here is, of course, a sphere within which the individual may assert the supremacy of his own will and rightfully dispute the authority of any human government, especially of any free government existing under a written constitution, to interfere with the exercise of that will.” 197 U.S. at 29.

The Court was careful in its language. Therefore, it is important to understand what Jacobson does not stand for.

First, contrary to recent public statements by Professor Alan Dershowitz, the case does not stand for the proposition that “the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.” To the contrary, what the case demonstrates is that a person refusing to accept a vaccine may be convicted and pay a penalty. Jacobson was never vaccinated, which was why he was convicted.

Second, the case does not stand for the proposition that any statewide edict mandating vaccinations is valid. It instead stands for the proposition that a conviction for violating a locally promulgated ordinance mandating vaccinations under “pressure of great dangers” and under “reasonable regulations” may be upheld. Absent the pressure of great dangers or where regulations may be unreasonable, the Court specifically reserved the right to step in and strike down the law. Thus, the Court balanced the interests of the state in reasonably protecting its citizens from great danger against the individual liberty interest asserted by Jacobson, and under the circumstances presented, sided with the perceived interests of the common good against the liberty interest of the individual.

Third, Jacobson has nothing whatsoever to do with whether the federal government has the power to mandate a national forced vaccination program. Indeed, the case upheld an ordinance issued on the most local of levels, that of a local Board of Health. The validity of a national forced vaccination program is another question altogether, and would be a case of first impression by the Court.

What Jacobson said,[ii] based on the scientific, moral, and ethical understanding of vaccinations and forced medicine extant in 1905, is that the police powers of state governments include the power to delegate to municipal governments the right to mandate vaccinations where, under a balancing test, the pressure of great dangers overrides individual liberty interests, and the regulation is reasonable.

Jacobson preceded the Court’s adoption of a substantive due process analysis under the 14th Amendment. Those cases have added judicial gloss to the Jacobson opinion that is relevant to challenging a mandatory vaccination for COVID-19 but which we will not address herein.

It goes without saying that much has changed since Jacobson in 1905. There was poor, if any, understanding of the harm caused by vaccinations as this decades before the National Childhood Injury Act of 1986[iii] was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, recognizing that vaccines injure and kill some recipients and thereby adding much needed color to any discussion of mandated vaccinations.

Jacobson also predated the horrors of medical experimentation conducted under the Nazis of which the world only became aware after WWII during the Nuremberg Trials which led to the adoption of the Nuremberg Code. Among other requirements, the Nuremberg Code[iv] demands,

“The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should have legal capacity to give consent; should be so situated as to be able to exercise free power of choice, without the intervention of any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, overreaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion; and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.”

International Treaties agreed since Nuremberg have only reinforced the ethical principle which underlies the practice of ethical medicine, namely voluntary informed consent. The Declaration of Helsinki by the World Medical Association in 1964 provides that human subjects “must be volunteers and informed participants in the research project.” In 2005, the General Conference of UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights[v] further raising the bar for the practice of ethical medicine by stating that, “Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information.”

While Jacobson is very clear that state action in relation to medical mandates must surpass a very high bar, the intervening century plus since Jacobson has changed not only the ethical landscape pertaining to the practice of medicine but also our scientific understanding of the risk and harms posed by vaccines. It is clear that Jacobson is due for an update based on the progress made by humanity since 1905.


[i] The statute at issue read: “Boards of health, if in their opinion it is necessary for public health or safety, shall require and enforce the vaccination and revaccination of all the inhabitants of their towns, and shall provide them with the means of free vaccination. Whoever refuses or neglects to comply with such requirement shall forfeit five dollars.”

[ii] In Zucht v. King, 260 U.S. 174, 176 (1922) (holding that vaccination laws do not discriminate against schoolchildren to the exclusion of others similarly situated, i.e., children not enrolled in school) the Court stated:

Long before this suit was instituted, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, had settled that it is within the police power of a State to provide for compulsory vaccination. That case and others had also settled that a State may, consistently with the Federal Constitution, delegate to a municipality authority to determine under what conditions health regulations shall become operative.

Zucht v. King, 260 U.S. 174, 176. See also, Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944) (holding that the right to practice religion does not include the liberty to jeopardize the wellbeing of minors by violating child labor laws). Most recently, in South Bay United Pentecostal Church v. Newsom, 590 U.S. ___ (2020) the Court relied upon Jacobson to deny an application for injunctive relief with regard to COVID-19 restrictions on in person worship services, stating:

Our Constitution principally entrusts “[t]he safety and the health of the people” to the politically accountable officials of the States “to guard and protect.” Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U. S. 11, 38 (1905). When those officials “undertake[ ] to act in areas fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties,” their latitude “must be especially broad.” Marshall v. United States, 414 U. S. 417, 427 (1974). Where those broad limits are not exceeded, they should not be subject to second-guessing by an “unelected federal judiciary,” which lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people. See Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority, 469 U. S. 528, 545 (1985).  

[iii] https://www.nvic.org/Vaccine-Laws/1986-Vaccine-Injury-Law.aspx

[iv] http://www.cirp.org/library/ethics/nuremberg/

[v] http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=31058&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Share

Florida Mom Compares DOJ Using FBI Against Parents to ‘Dogs and Water Hoses Against Black Americans Fighting for Civil Rights’

The Epoch Times  10/9/2021  By Patricia Tolson  

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) recently characterized the effort of parents who engage in passionate opposition to forced masking and the indoctrination of their children through critical race theory (CRT) as a form of “domestic terrorism.” In response, a Florida mom equates the weaponization of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) against parents trying to protect their children to “using dogs and water hoses on black Americans fighting for civil rights.”

How it Began

On Oct. 4, Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a memo instructing the director of the FBI addressing what he described as “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.”

The memo was in response to a Sept. 29 letter (pdf) from the NSBA to the Biden administration comparing what it describes as “attacks against school board members and educators for approving policies for masks to protect the health and safety of students and school employees” and “physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula” as “equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

For this, the NSBA’s letter “specifically solicits the expertise and resources of the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and its National Threat Assessment Center regarding the level of risk to public school children, educators, board members, and facilities/campuses.”

The NSBA also requested “assistance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to intervene against threatening letters and cyberbullying attacks that have been transmitted to students, school board members, district administrators, and other educators.”

“While spirited debate about policy matters is protected under our Constitution, that protection does not extend to threats of violence or efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views” Garland stated in his memo to the FBI. “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values. Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety.”

Parents Speak Out

According to Quisha King, the government knows that the growing number of parents who are going to school board meetings to voice their opinions against CRT are gaining a lot of attention, and “they want to do everything possible to shut that down.”

King—the Florida mom whose comments before the Duval County School Board went viral on social media in June—said the school board members who are determined to push their agenda are now so desperate to stop the momentum of the parents who oppose them “they will use the government against its own people” to silence them.

“We probably never thought that would happen in America,” King told The Epoch Times. “It’s outrageous.”

A file photo of Quisha King. (Courtesy of Quisha King)
A file photo of Quisha King. (Courtesy of Quisha King)

Asked if the threat to use the FBI to treat parents who oppose CRT at school board meetings as domestic terrorists would dissuade her from speaking out in the future, King said “absolutely not.”

“In fact, I think this is going to backfire,” King asserted. “You’re going to see even more parents. Of all sides of the political spectrum, come out and say ‘wait a minute, the FBI is coming after parents who just want to give their children the best life possible.’ This isn’t going to dissuade us. It’s only going to rally more of us.”

While King concedes there may have been instances of parents expressing anger at meetings or sending inappropriate emails, she is unaware of anyone erupting into violence or harming any school board members. King also said the threat to use the power of the FBI to shut down parents who are turning out in increasing numbers to stand up for their children at school board meetings is only going to open the eyes of parents who have “been teetering” on the idea of pulling their children from public schools altogether and finally “tip them over the edge.”

During her speech at Thursday’s Family Research Council’s annual Pray Vote Stand Summit, King received an extended standing ovation when she suggested parents stage a “mass exodus” from the public system. Asked to expand on that statement, King said she has already begun working on the idea by speaking to parents who may be hesitant and working with them to find solutions before setting a specific date to stage the “mass exodus” on a national level.

“Anyone who is involved in wanting to have freedom and liberty in this country and believes in what this country stands for is being attacked,” Duval County, Florida, resident April Carney told The Epoch Times, saying part of the reason why she chose to run for a position on the school board is because the choices of parents are systematically being taken away.

“Those of us who are parents and are thoroughly involved in our child’s education, we want to be included in the decision making  process regarding the curriculum and the rules and regulations that are being put in place in schools,” Carney said. “That has completely stopped. There’s been too much activism brought into the classroom and not enough emphasis on reading, writing and arithmetic, science and our students are failing because of that.”

Karen Schoen at home in Flagler County Florida in 2017.
Karen Schoen at home in Flagler County Florida in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Karen Schoen)

“Our first problem as Americans is we aren’t naming the enemy,” Karen Schoen, a former educator and dean in the New York school system told The Epoch Times, suggesting that the real enemy are the “globalist communists” seated in positions of power on both sides of the political aisle.

“Communism cannot have opposition or dissent,” Schoen insisted. “They will not tolerate anybody who calls them out, and now that Americans are fighting back they are weaponizing government agencies to shut down any dissent.”

“We don’t want to co-parent with the government,” Jessico Bowman told The Epoch Times. “We want to be involved in our children’s education and upbringing because that’s our responsibility.”

“If the DOJ wants to classify that as domestic terrorism that’s really the DOJ’s problem,” Charles Bowman added, saying that when it comes down to it, the community will rally together. “We are going to voice our opinion and we are going to support the people who want to voice their opinions.”

“Who gets to decide what’s a threat versus just an angry parent speaking out?” Jessico asked. “Do we trust them [the government] to make that determination for us at the federal level?”

Charles and Jessico Bowman participating in the October "ground game" ahead of the 2020 election in Lake County, Fla.
Charles and Jessico Bowman participating in the October “ground game” as members of the Republican Liberty Caucus ahead of the 2020 election in Lake County, Fla. (Photo courtesy of Charles and Jessico Bowman)

“If you as parents are not going to advocate for the best interests of your children then who will,” Charles interjected. “Like Jessico said, we’re not interested in co-parenting with the government at all. But it is our responsibility as parents to make sure our children are safe. If we don’t, we can be labeled as cowards.”

As The Epoch Times reported in August, the Bowmans were recently embroiled in a struggle with the Flagler County school system regarding a surprise, random, haphazard COVID-19 protocol that had children being sent to isolation rooms, quarantined at home with requirements to undergo a series of COVID-19 tests and leaving confused parents scrambling to make sense of it all.

“They don’t want people speaking their mind,” Charles said. “They don’t want people having a voice in this process. This has always been part of the left’s playground in the public education system, so here you are, they’ve rattled the right to the point where conservatives are getting involved. Now they’re trying to figure out how to get the conservatives quiet again. They’ve overstepped, and now they’re trying to figure out how to regain control over the sandbox.

Conservative Organizations Join Parents

“What the NSBA did, requesting that the FBI weaponize the federal government against parents and grandparents is not only a strict violation of the First Amendment, it is the most egregious abuse of power I have seen recently,” Keith Flaugh, founder of the Florida Citizens Alliance told The Epoch Times.

Keith Flaugh speaks at Florida Citizens Alliance Gala in Feb. 2020.
Keith Flaugh speaks at Florida Citizens Alliance Gala in Ocala, Feb. 2020. (Photo courtesy of Keith Flaugh)

“We are big supporters of the Tenth Amendment,” Flaugh added, “and I think this is going to force the issue of governors like Ron DeSantis to use the Tenth Amendment.”

The Tenth Amendment—passed by Congress on Sept. 25, 1789 and ratified Dec. 15, 1791—states that “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Flaugh further stated that this effort to use the power of the government against its own citizens is “also a beacon call to every constitutional sheriff in the country.”

“A constitutional sheriff has the legal authority and duty to interpose against the federal government when they are overreaching their constitutional authority,” Flaugh explained. “We’ve got a federal government that’s completely out of control and we’ve seen it manifest itself on a number of fronts. This is just the latest and most egregious. It is literally weaponizing the federal government against its citizens. And even though it will probably make me one of their targets I will be urging people to stand up and say I will not comply.”

“We’re urging people to do it peacefully,” Flaugh clarified, “but at the end of the day, I will not comply, period. Full stop.”

In an Oct. 7 letter (pdf) addressed to The Hon. Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General for the Department of Justice, Reed D. Rubinstein, Senior Counselor and Director of Oversight and Investigations for the America First Legal (AFL) Foundation formally requested an “Investigation Regarding Potential Improprieties Related to the October 4, 2021, Attorney General’s Memorandum.”

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized American parents’ fundamental liberty interest in and Constitutional right to control and direct the education of their own children,” Rubinstein states in the letter. However, Rubenstein asserts that the DOJ appears to be “committing the full weight of its federal law enforcement resources to prevent parents from exercising constitutionally-protected rights and privileges, for inappropriate partisan purposes.”

In addition, under the Freedom of Information Act, the AFL Foundation has also filed a request (pdf) for the following documents:

  1. All records of, concerning, or regarding (1) the Garland Memorandum and/or (2) the NSBA Letter.
  2. All records sufficient to show each person within the Department who reviewed (1) the Garland Memorandum and/or (2) the NSBA Letter.
  3. All records created by the Department showing the “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” referenced in the Garland Memorandum.
  4. All records the Department relied upon to support the Garland Memorandum statement “there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.”
  5. All records created by the Department showing “the rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel” referenced in the Garland Memorandum.
  6. All records the Department relied upon to support the Garland Memorandum statement there has been “a rise in criminal conduct directed toward school personnel.”
  7. All records sufficient to show the Department’s understanding and interpretation of the term “intimidation and harassment” used in the Garland Memorandum.
  8. All communications from, with, or regarding any person employed by the National Education Association and/or the American Federation of Teachers.
  9. All communications with any person having an email address including eop.gov regarding (1) the Garland Memorandum, (2) the NSBA, (3) the NSBA Letter, the National Education Association and/or the American Federation of Teachers and/or (5) any person employed by the National Education Association and/or the American Federation of Teachers.

Asked about the optics of FBI agents descending upon school board meetings to drag parents away from podiums, King was forthright in her prediction.

“It will be reminiscent of using dogs and water hoses on black Americans who were fighting for civil rights,” she said bluntly.

The Epoch Times reached out to the NSBA and FBI for comment.

Patricia Tolson

Patricia Tolson
Reporter

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_breakingnews/florida-mom-compares-doj-using-fbi-against-parents-to-dogs-and-water-hoses-against-black-americans-fighting-for-civil-rights_4039531.html?utm_source=News&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-2021-10-09-1&mktids=2cee0030e0239b9362704310f5e5686e&est=UPMycsYmmoonUfxx0kv2Unud6ky86hjDnWArrpCwkWxvoxbj3dw6ePm9z5PTWw==

Share

The January 6 Insurrection Hoax – Imprimis

The January 6 Insurrection Hoax

Roger Kimball
Editor and Publisher, The New Criterion


Roger Kimball is editor and publisher of The New Criterion and publisher of Encounter Books. He earned his B.A. from Bennington College and his M.A. and M.Phil. in philosophy from Yale University. He has written for numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times Book Review, and is a columnist for The Spectator World, American Greatness, and The Epoch Times. He is editor or author of several books, including The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America, The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art, Tenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher Education, and Vox Populi: The Perils and Promises of Populism.


The following is adapted from a lecture delivered at Hillsdale College on September 20, 2021, during a Center for Constructive Alternatives conference on “Critical American Elections.”

Notwithstanding all the hysterical rhetoric surrounding the events of January 6, 2021, two critical things stand out. The first is that what happened was much more hoax than insurrection. In fact, in my judgment, it wasn’t an insurrection at all.

An “insurrection,” as the dictionary will tell you, is a violent uprising against a government or other established authority. Unlike the violent riots that swept the country in the summer of 2020—riots that caused some $2 billion in property damage and claimed more than 20 lives—the January 6 protest at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. lasted a few hours, caused minimal damage, and the only person directly killed was an unarmed female Trump supporter who was shot by a Capitol Police officer. It was, as Tucker Carlson said shortly after the event, a political protest that “got out of hand.”

At the rally preceding the events in question, Donald Trump had suggested that people march to the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically”—these were his exact words—in order to make their voices heard. He did not incite a riot; he stirred up a crowd. Was that, given the circumstances, imprudent? Probably. Was it an effort to overthrow the government? Hardly.

I know this is not the narrative that we have all been instructed to parrot. Indeed, to listen to the establishment media and our political masters, the January 6 protest was a dire threat to the very fabric of our nation: the worst assault on “our democracy” since 9/11, since Pearl Harbor, and even—according to Joe Biden last April—since the Civil War! 

Note that phrase “our democracy”: Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and various talking heads have repeated it ad nauseam. But you do not need an advanced degree in hermeneutics to understand that what they mean by “our democracy” is their oligarchy. Similarly, when Pelosi talks about “the people’s house,” she doesn’t mean a house that welcomes riff-raff like you and me.

I just alluded to Ashli Babbitt, the unarmed supporter of Donald Trump who was shot and killed on January 6. Her fate brings me to the second critical thing to understand about the January 6 insurrection hoax. Namely, that it was not a stand-alone event. 

On the contrary, what happened that afternoon, and what happened afterwards, is only intelligible when seen as a chapter in the long-running effort to discredit and, ultimately, to dispose of Donald Trump—as well as what Hillary Clinton might call the “deplorable” populist sentiment that brought Trump to power. 

In other words, to understand the January 6 insurrection hoax, you also have to understand that other long-running hoax, the Russia collusion hoax. The story of that hoax begins back in 2015, when the resources of the federal government were first mobilized to spy on the Trump campaign, to frame various people close to Trump, and eventually to launch a full-throated criminal investigation of the Trump administration. 

From before Trump took office, the Russia collusion hoax was used as a pretext to create a parallel administration shadowing the elected administration. Remember the Steele dossier, the fantastical document confected by the “well-regarded” former British spy Christopher Steele? We know now that it was the only relevant predicate for ordering FISA warrants to spy on Carter Page and other American citizens. 

But in truth, the Steele dossier was just opposition dirt covertly paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. From beginning to end, it was a tissue of lies and fabrications. Everyone involved knew all along it was garbage—rumors and fantasies fed to a gullible Steele by shady Russian sources. But it was nonetheless used to deploy, illegally, the awesome coercive power of the state against a presidential candidate of whom the ruling bureaucracy and its favored candidate disapproved. 

The public learned that the Democratic National Committee paid for the manufactured evidence only because of a court order. James Comey, the disgraced former director of the FBI, publicly denied knowing who paid for it, but emails from a year earlier prove that he knew all along. And what was the penalty for lying in Comey’s case? He got a huge book deal and toured the country denouncing Trump to the gleeful satisfaction of his anti-Trump audiences. 

What was true of Comey was also true of the entire intelligence apparat, from former CIA Director John Brennan to Congressman Adam Schiff and other Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee to senior members of the FBI. All these people said publicly that they had seen clear evidence of collusion with Russia. But they admitted under oath behind closed doors that they hadn’t.

General Michael Flynn, Trump’s original National Security Advisor, had his career ruined and was bankrupted as part of this political vendetta. Meanwhile James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, John Brennan, Peter Strzok, and all the rest of the crew at the FBI, the CIA, and other intelligence agencies suffered nothing. When it came to light that an FBI lawyer altered an email in order to help get a FISA warrant—in other words, that he doctored evidence to spy on a political opponent, which is a felony—he got probation.

The recent news that Special Counsel John Durham is indicting Michael Sussman, a lawyer who covertly worked for the Clinton campaign and lied to the FBI, is welcome news. But it seems like small beer given the rampant higher-level corruption that saturated the Russia collusion hoax.

At least 74 million citizens voted for Donald Trump in 2020, which is at least 11 million more than voted for him in 2016. Many of those voters are profoundly disillusioned and increasingly angry about this entire story—the years-long Robert Mueller “investigation,” the two impeachments of President Trump, the cloud of unknowing that surrounds the 2020 election, and the many questions that have emerged not only from the January 6 protest at the Capitol, but even more from the government’s response to that protest.

Which brings me back to Ashli Babbitt, the long-serving Air Force veteran who was shot and killed by a nervous Capitol Police officer. Babbitt was a useful prop when the media was in overdrive describing the January 6 events as an “armed insurrection” in which wild Trump supporters, supposedly at Trump’s instigation, attacked the Capitol with the intention of overturning the 2020 election.

According to that narrative, five people, including Babbitt, died in the skirmish. Moreover, it was said, Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was bludgeoned to death by a raging Trump supporter wielding a fire extinguisher. That gem of a story about the fire extinguisher, reported in our former paper of record, The New York Times, was instantly picked up by other media outlets and spread like a Chinese virus. 

Of course, it is absolutely critical to the Democratic Party narrative that the January 6 incident be made to seem as violent and crazed as possible. Hence the comparisons to 9/11, Pearl Harbor, and the Civil War. Only thus can pro-Trump Americans be excluded from “our democracy” by being branded as “domestic extremists” if not, indeed, “domestic terrorists.”

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution accords American citizens the right to a speedy trial. But most of the political prisoners of January 6—many of whom have been kept in solitary confinement—are still waiting to be brought to trial. And although the media was full of predictions that they would be found guilty of criminal sedition, none has. 

Indeed, the prosecution’s cases seem to be falling apart. Most of the hundreds who have been arrested are being charged with trespassing. Another charge being leveled against them is “disrupting an official proceeding.” This is a felony charge designed not for ceremonial procedures like the January 6 certification of the vote, but rather for disrupting Congressional inquiries—for example, by shredding documents relevant to a Congressional investigation. It originated during the George W. Bush administration to deal with the Enron case.

The indisputable fact about January 6 is that although five people died at or near the Capitol on that day or soon thereafter, none of these deaths was brought about by the protesters. The shot fired by Capitol Police Officer Michael Byrd that hit Ashli Babbitt in the neck and killed her was the only shot fired at the Capitol that day. No guns were recovered from the Capitol on January 6. Zero.

The liberal commentator Glenn Greenwald further diminished the “armed insurrection” narrative in an important column last February titled “The False and Exaggerated Claims Still Being Spread About the Capitol Riot.” The title says it all. Kevin Greeson, Greenwald notes, was killed not by the protesters but died of a heart attack outside the Capitol. Benjamin Philips, the founder of a pro-Trump website called Trumparoo, died of a stroke that day. Rosanne Boyland, another Trump supporter, was reported by The New York Times to have been inadvertently “killed in a crush of fellow rioters during their attempt to fight through a police line.” But later video shows that, far from that, the police pushed protesters on top of Boyland and would not allow other protesters to pull her out.

Four of the five who died, then, were pro-Trump protesters. And the fifth? Well, that was Officer Sicknick—also a Trump supporter, as it turned out—who, contrary to the false report gone viral of The New York Times, went home, told his family he felt fine, but died a day later from, as The Washington Post eventually and grudgingly reported, “natural causes.” No fire extinguishers were involved in his demise.

***

The January 6 insurrection hoax prompts lots of questions.

Why, for example, did the government mobilize 26,000 federal troops from all across the country to surround “the people’s house” following January 6? Why were those troops subjected to FBI vetting, with some of them sent packing? 

Why is there some 14,000 hours of video footage of the event on January 6 that the government refuses to release? What are they afraid of letting the public see? More scenes of security guards actually opening doors and politely ushering in protesters? More pictures of FBI informants covertly salted among the crowd?

My own view is that turning Washington into an armed camp was mostly theater. There was no threat that the Washington police could not have handled. But it was also a show of force and an act of intimidation. The message was: “We’re in charge now, rubes, and don’t you forget it.”

In truth, there is little threat of domestic terror in this country. But there is plenty of domestic conservatism. And that conservatism is the real focus of the establishment’s ire.

It is important to note that while the government provides the muscle for this war on dissent, the elite culture at large is a willing accomplice. Consider, for example, the open letter, signed by more than 500 “publishing professionals” (authors, editors, designers, and so on), calling on the industry to reject books written by anyone who had anything to do with the Trump administration. 

These paragons pledged to do whatever they could to stop “enriching the monsters among us.” But here’s their problem: over 74 million people voted for Trump. That’s a lot of monsters. 

Many people have been quoting Benjamin Franklin’s famous response when asked what sort of government they had come up with at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. “A republic,” Franklin said, “if you can keep it.” Right now, it looks like we can’t. It looks as if the American constitutional republic has given way, as least temporarily, to an American oligarchy. 

As the years go by, historians, if the censors allow them access to the documents and give them leave to publish their findings, may well count the 2016 presidential election as the last fair and open democratic election in U.S. history. I know we are not supposed to say that. I know that the heads of Twitter and Facebook and other woke guardians of the status quo call this view “The Big Lie” and do all they can to suppress it. But every honest person knows that the 2020 election was tainted.

The forces responsible for the taint had tried before. Hitherto, their efforts had met with only limited success. But a perfect storm of forces conspired to make 2020 the first oligarchic installation of a president. It would not have happened, I think, absent the panic over the Chinese virus. But that panic, folded in a lover’s embrace by the Democratic establishment, was not only a splendid pretext to clamp down on civil liberties; it also provided an inarguable excuse to alter the rules for elections in several key states.

“Inarguable” is not quite the right word. There could have been plenty of arguments, and many lawsuits, against the way the executive branches in these states usurped the constitutionally guaranteed prerogative of state legislatures to set the election rules when they intervened to allow massive mail-in voting. But the Trump administration, though foreseeing and complaining about the executive interventions, did too little too late to make a difference. 

Among the many sobering realities that the 2020 election brought home is that in our current and particular form of oligarchy, the people do have a voice, but it is a voice that is everywhere pressured, cajoled, shaped, and bullied. The people also have a choice, but only among a roster of candidates approved by the elite consensus. 

The central fact to appreciate about Donald Trump is that he was elected president without the permission, and over the incredulous objections, of the bipartisan oligarchy that governs us. That was his unforgivable offense. Trump was the greatest threat in history to the credentialed class and the globalist administrative state upon which they feed. Representatives of that oligarchy tried for four years to destroy Trump. Remember that the first mention of impeachment came 19 minutes after his inauguration, an event that was met not only by a widespread Democratic boycott and hysterical claims by Nancy Pelosi and others that the election had been hijacked, but also by riots in Washington, D.C. that saw at least six policemen injured, numerous cars torched, and other property destroyed. 

You will search in vain for media or other ruling class denunciations of that violence, or for bulletins from corporate America advising their customers of their solidarity with the newly-installed Trump administration. As the commentator Howie Carr noted, some riots are more equal than others. Some get you the approval of people like Nancy Pelosi and at least the grudging acceptance of oligarchs of the other party. Others get the FBI sweeping the country for “domestic terrorists” and the lords of Big Tech canceling people who defend the protesters’ cause.

Someday—maybe someday soon—this witches’ sabbath, this festival of scapegoating, and what George Orwell called the “hideous ecstasy” of hate will be at an end. Perhaps someday people will be aghast, and some will be ashamed, of what they did to the President of the United States and people who supported him: the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, for instance, proposing to put Senator Ted Cruz on a “no fly” list, and Simon & Schuster canceling Senator Josh Hawley’s book contract. 

Donald Trump is the Emmanuel Goldstein (the designated principal enemy of the totalitarian state Oceania in Orwell’s 1984) of the movement. But minor public enemies are legion. Anyone harboring “Trumpist” inclinations is suspect, hence the widespread calls for “deprogramming” Trump’s supporters, who are routinely said to be “marching toward sedition.”

Michael Barone, one of our most perceptive political commentators, got it right when he wrote of the rapid movement “from impeaching incitement to canceling conservatism.” That is the path our oligarchs are inviting us to travel now, criminalizing political dissent and transforming policy differences into a species of heresy. You don’t debate heretics, after all. You seek to destroy them.

Donald Trump’s accomplishments as president were nothing less than stunning. Trump was, and is, a rude force of nature. He accomplished an immense amount. But he lacked one thing. Some say it was self-discipline or finesse. I agree with a friend of mine who suggested that Trump’s critical flaw was a deficit in guile. That sounds odd, no doubt, since Trump is supposed to be the tough guy who mastered “the art of the deal.” But I think my friend is probably right. Trump seems never to have discerned what a viper’s nest our politics has become for anyone who is not a paid-up member of The Club. 

Maybe Trump understands this now. I have no insight into that question. I am pretty confident, though, that the 74 plus million people who voted for him understand it deeply. It’s another reason that The Club should be wary of celebrating its victory too expansively. 

Friedrich Hayek took one of the two epigraphs for his book, The Road to Serfdom, from the philosopher David Hume. “It is seldom,” Hume wrote, “that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.” Much as I admire Hume, I wonder whether he got this quite right. Sometimes, I would argue, liberty is erased almost instantaneously.

I’d be willing to wager that Joseph Hackett, confronted with Hume’s observation, would express similar doubts. I would be happy to ask Mr. Hackett myself, but he is inaccessible. If the ironically titled “Department of Justice” has its way, he will be inaccessible for a long, long time—perhaps as long as 20 years. 

Joseph Hackett, you see, is a 51-year-old Trump supporter and member of an organization called the Oath Keepers, a group whose members have pledged to “defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.” The FBI does not like the Oath Keepers—agents arrested its leader in January and have picked up many other members in the months since. Hackett traveled to Washington from his home in Florida to join the January 6 rally. According to court documents, he entered the Capitol at 2:45 that afternoon and left some nine minutes later, at 2:54. The next day, he went home. On May 28, he was apprehended by the FBI and indicted on a long list of charges, including conspiracy, obstruction of an official proceeding, destruction of government property, and illegally entering a restricted building. 

As far as I have been able to determine, no evidence of Hackett destroying property has come to light. According to his wife, it is not even clear that he entered the Capitol. But he certainly was in the environs. He was a member of the Oath Keepers. He was a supporter of Donald Trump. Therefore, he must be neutralized.

Joseph Hackett is only one of hundreds of citizens who have been branded as “domestic terrorists” trying to “overthrow the government” and who are now languishing, in appalling conditions, jailed as political prisoners of an angry state apparat.

Hayek’s overriding concern in The Road to Serfdom was to combat the forces that were pushing people further along that road to servitude. His chief concern was unchecked state power. In a new preface to the book’s 1956 edition, Hayek noted that one of its “main points” was to document how “extensive government control produces a psychological change, an alteration in the character of the people.”

 “This means,” Hayek wrote, “that even a strong tradition of political liberty is no safeguard if the danger is precisely that new institutions and policies will gradually undermine and destroy that spirit.”

 This dismal situation, Hayek continues, can be averted, but only if the spirit of liberty “reasserts itself in time and the people not only throw out the party which has been leading them further and further in the dangerous direction but also recognize the nature of the danger and resolutely change their course.”

Note the power of that little word “if.” It was not so long ago that an American could contemplate totalitarian regimes and say, “Thank God we’ve escaped that.” It’s not at all clear that we can entertain that happy conviction any longer. 

That’s one melancholy lesson of the January 6 insurrection hoax: that America is fast mutating from a republic, in which individual liberty is paramount, into an oligarchy, in which conformity is increasingly demanded and enforced.

Another lesson was perfectly expressed by Donald Trump when he reflected on the unremitting tsunami of hostility that he faced as President. “They’re after you,” he more than once told his supporters. “I’m just in the way.”

Bingo.

Share

US Freedom Flyers – We Call The Shots, Not Them!

This is an effort I will support. I encourage you to support it too. mrossol

US Freedom Flyers currently encompasses all travel and transportation-affiliated industries, including all employees, unionized or not, who are affected by the Federal Government’s Covid-19 Vaccine Mandates. Whether you’re a pilot, flight attendant, mechanic, dispatcher, gate agent, or ramper, we have room for you!

In addition, we seek to be an inclusive organization contributing to the support of other industries. If you are in other transportation industries, such as shipping, trucking, bussing, etc. please join our organization! If you are in an industry other than transportation and travel, we welcome you also, and want to collaborate with you to help preserve our medical freedoms!


US Freedom Flyers

Share